Questions and Answers about Removing Asbestos

I’m starting a renovation project and am not sure if there are hazardous materials present, what should I do?

Please do not start your project without consulting a qualified person to complete a hazardous materials survey, this is mandatory and regulated by Worksafe BC.


Is it safe to have any asbestos in my home?

Yes but only if it’s undisturbed/contained, if the material is damaged or exposed then in some cases simply touching the building material can cause the fibres to suspend in the air. We are happy to answer questions and provide free information and pricing for your asbestos removal.


I have started my renovation project and have found asbestos?

Please stop all work and call a qualified person to assess risk, they will survey the work area for potential asbestos containing material and have  samples analysed for asbestos, lead, or other materials at an accredited lab. The hazmat survey and report are required before work can start.


Asbestos cannot harm me because of my age and the long latency period before it can be harmful?

Asbestos fibres can remain in the area if not properly decontaminated, potentially exposing anyone who may enter the area for long periods after.

Pricing – How much does asbestos removal cost?

Scope of work, risk level, access, amount of waste generated, materials required and timeline are all factors that will dictate the total asbestos abatement costs. Potentially there are also third party consultant costs for air clearances. We simply charge time and materials or provide cost estimates (based on expected costs) for the work we do. Pricing for small tasks or simple cuts can start around $250, small projects can often fall into the $1,200 – $1,800 range, remediation projects for homes or businesses may fall in the range of $3,000 -$12,000 or beyond. Removal of Vermiculite from attics usually costs between $10,000 – $15,000 and pricing can sometimes be roughly estimated $10 – $15 per square foot for average size buildings. In order to be the most cost effective with asbestos abatement take the time to have your hazmat survey done as soon as possible, this allows you to fully understand the scope of work and related costs involved, and to plan the remaining work and be able to make strategic decisions based on all of the relevant information. For example budget constraints may dictate that you have a contractor enclose some asbestos containing materials while removing others that may be more of an immediate concern. More information on asbestos pricing and costs

My home was built after 1990 so there is no risk of exposure?

Occasionally asbestos containing materials have been found in structures built after 1990 and ideally we would recommend a survey for buildings built before 2000, but if your home or business was built before Dec 31 1990 it is a requirement to have a survey completed before work begins. If you suspect asbestos containing materials to be present in your post 1990 constructed home please call us to assess and collect samples before any work begins.


I’m only moving my home and only require a survey of the basement can you assist?

We recommend a survey of the entire home with abatement to follow, in the move process there is risk that any hazardous materials not removed may contaminate the home.


I’m only renovating my kitchen or bathroom does a survey of the whole home need to be completed?

No, a hazardous materials survey can be customized to the scope of work for your renovation project (to include any areas that will be disturbed by the work) and we will specify the area of the survey in our report.


Should I be concerned about the exterior of my home containing hazardous materials? Roof etc?

Yes, home exteriors may contain asbestos. Disturbance can contaminate an entire neighborhood if proper abatement procedures are not followed.


What is encapsulation?

Encapsulation is the application of a material with a sealant to stop it from releasing fibers.


What is asbestos? Asbestos is a natural silicate mineral that comes from the earth.

Asbestos is the Greek word for miracle mineral. It was considered a miracle mineral because it will not burn or freeze and has a tensile strength stronger than steel.


Should I take my own samples?

No, only qualified individuals should collect samples to ensure relevant sample material is obtained and to avoid potential exposure, precautions must be taken even during sampling. There is a complex process that consults use to determine the number of samples(functional areas), which materials need to be sampled as well as where specifically the sample needs to taken from. See WorkSafeBC Asbestos Hazards for Homeowners


How do I know if there are hazardous materials present?

Only a laboratory analysis by a certified laboratory will determine if hazardous materials are found and if they present a health hazard to you.


What should I do If I need to have hazardous materials removed?

Please call Canadian Haz-Mat Environmental at 250-891-8611 or another qualified specialist. We can provide free cost quotations for the removal of asbestos containing materials.